Four out of five Americans look on Internet to answer health questions; third most common reason to surf

Finding answers to questions about their health is the third most common reason Americans use the Internet, a survey by the Pew Internet Project has found. Emailing and using searching engines are the top one and two reasons respectively.

A national telephone survey conducted Aug. 9 to Sept. 13, 2010, found 80 percent of Internet users search online for health-related information. The most likely groups to access health-related websites are caregivers, women, whites, younger adults, and adults with at least some college education. Those least likely to look for health-related information are African Americans, Latinos, people with disabilities, older adults and adults with a high school education or less.

The Washington Post‘s Nancy Szokan reports Pew has been monitoring how Americans use the Internet since 2000. “In many ways,” Pew Associate Director Susannah Fox said, “the Internet has become the de facto second opinion.” (Read more)
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